The Alliance has a shared focus on Co-Production & Lived Experience from April to August 2023.
In health and social care, there are competing definitions that all have to do with giving citizens more power and ownership, individually and collectively. These ideas have been around for a people and we want to find out how they can be advanced further in the new BOB ICS building on good practice within Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West.
In our first feature on this, we have a look at how co-production is understood in national guidance and local practice.
How Councils Understand Co-Production
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) defines co-production as “the process whereby providers and/or professionals and stake-holding citizens equally share a whole-life responsibility for the creation and delivery of products, services or knowledge.” Its underpinning principles are:
- Equality: no one group or person is more important than another
- Diversity: reach out beyond interest groups to those who are not represented
- Access: everyone has an equal opportunity to participate
- Reciprocity: citizens putting something in get something back, feeling valued and needed in the process of co-pro
OCC explains its approach in a video and Working Together toolkit here: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/community-and-living/our-work-communities/co-production.
West Berkshire Council says it “describing activities that involve citizens working with professionals to improve public services” and sets out its approach in a How to do co-production guide: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/coproduction
Co-Production is a challenge for the ‘seldom heard’: people at risk of exclusion from co-production are BAME communities, LGBT+, those who communicate differently, dementia, older people with high care need, unaffiliated persons who aren’t part of an organised group, people living in residential homes, homeless, Gypsy and Traveller, prisoners (SCIE, 2022).
Co-Production in national legislation and guidance
The Health & Social Care Act 2012 requires NHSE commissioners to enable patients and carers to participate in their care and support and enable promote public participation in commissioning itself. According to the Care Act 2014, co-pro is about one person influencing their care and support or about a group of people influencing their care and support. This seems to have two limitations:
- It is only about influencing not sharing power
- It is only about influencing one service not the range of services around them
The Coalition for Personalised Care, which is supported by NHS England, defines co-production as “a way of working that involves people who use health and care services, carers and communities in equal partnership”.
There is a ladder of co-production developed by Think Local Act Personal.
Co-Production is a challenge for seldom-heard…
There’s a video where people who use care services explain the co-production ladder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEgsJXLo7M8.
Why co-production matters
The value of co-production lies in the journey as well as the destination according to recent research (Co-Pro Collective 2022), in particular it can have these benefits if done well:
- Delivering outcomes that matter to people
- Efficiency in the long-run
- Working towards social justice
- Empowering people, building their capacity
- Connecting us as humans working towards shared goals
These conclusions are based on a synthesis of 59 academic studies, the voices of 100 diverse community storytellers, nearly 10,000 survey responses and 9 pilot projects trying out approaches based on the findings.
In the coming months, we will bring you more features in the newsletter about:
- The NHS framework on personalised care and what that could mean for people we support across BOB
- How VCSE organisations support co-production in BOB
- How far co-production and personalised care are present within BOB ICS strategic plans
We want to hear from you
We are collecting case studies of good practice from our members please share yours using this form – Co-Creation Case Study – Template
If you’ve got ideas on what we should be doing about co-production or your own good practices, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org